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HMS Reflects on World Issues


Each November, Hampton Middle School students participate in the "Be the Change" event, where they learn about the many struggles facing others. Among the issues they explore firsthand include poverty, disease, hunger, homelessness and a lack of access to clean drinking water. Additionally, students write editorials addressing several of these world issues. Each year, a selection of these editorials are then chosen for publication by peers and teaching. The following were the editorials selected for this year. 


Counting on You
By Ella Kornick

Stop. Count to ten in your head. You can do this, but many children can’t. Instead of going to school and getting an education, children are forced to work. Child labor is a tremendous problem that needs to be ended. You can end it and be the change the world needs.

Child labor is extremely threatening to children by forcing them to work in hazardous conditions and depriving them of their childhoods. To begin with, companies like Nike, Disney, and Walmart purposely use minors instead of adults so the companies do not have to pay as much. Because of this, 11 percent of all the children in the world are suffering from child labor. This is 168 million kids. Out of this 168 million, 25 percent of them work in life-threatening conditions. This can lead to numerous health problems, or even death. Additionally, adolescents who experience child labor range from ages five to seventeen. This means that they don’t get a chance to get an education and can’t live their childhood to its full extent.

No one could ever imagine what these kids are going through unless they experience it themselves. Most of the time, even after a hard day of work, the children do not get paid anything. Could you imagine going to bed without anything to eat all day? This is what these youths have to deal with. Minors usually endure child labor to support their families, and if they don’t get paid, the family has no money. Furthermore, children are constantly dying from dangerous conditions while working. A mine can collapse, tobacco can cause disease, or working in the hot sun can get them sick. Families suffer from the loss of their child. This cannot keep happening.

Obviously, you want to support this effort to end child labor. One way you can do this is by raising money and donating it to organizations that include Human Rights Watch and Unicef. Once families experiencing poverty receive these donations, the children will not have to work for money. Another big cause of this problem is discrimination, so you can hold campaigns to end discrimination in certain countries. But before you can do any of this, however, you need to raise awareness. Ads or social media can enable millions of people to become aware. If each person helps, you can change the world.

It doesn’t take much to end child labor. This is a huge problem that is causing millions to suffer, but child labor can be stopped. Let those children be able to count to ten.

No Place to Call Home
By Emmy Schrom

A girl just barely seventeen is sitting under a dark damp bridge with her puppy, cooking what little food she has with a small struggling fire. She has no place to call home and no family to lean on when she is stressed or sick. She is homeless. For her and for around 550,000 other people in America, this is their reality every day, but their lives will change if we help them.

Homelessness is affecting over 550,000 people in the U.S. One in thirty children in America experience homelessness at least one night a year every year. That means that if you line up thirty kids up to the age of eighteen, one of them will have no home. Homelessness can be caused by many things, but one of the main causes is domestic violence. Thirty-nine percent of cities listed domestic violence as the primary cause of family homelessness. Thirty nine percent is way too high of a number. Domestic violence should not be the reason innocent families have no home. No one should ever have no home.

This heart-wrenching can promote disease, hunger, and extreme poverty. They live on the streets unable to afford a house, one of the necessities of life. A house is not a want, it is a need, but for these people it is far from a reality. Imagine a little kid younger than five on the steps of a church curled up in a threadbare blanket with her mom. Her mom can’t get a job because she has no address, but the worst is yet to come. She could get sick and the family will suffer.

There are many ways to help this severe problem. Donate money food and clothing. If you donate, it could be the difference between life and death. You can donate to Project HOME, a non-profit organization that creates affordable housing for the homeless. Another non-profit organization you can donate to is Front Steps. They help donate blankets, food, shelter, clothing, and even cars to the homeless. You can donate any of those items to the site and they will give them to the homeless. If you really want to donate to homeless families in need, you can donate to Doorways, which provides basic necessities to these families. If you donate, you will be giving a glimmer of hope of a better life for these people. Even if you don’t donate, at least tell other people about the issue.

This problem in America is become bigger every day. Homeless people are lying on the cold streets, praying for any act of kindness. Hundreds of thousands of men women and children are homeless, they have no food, shelter, or money. They need you to help them. This problem needs to stop, but the truth is it won’t stop until we do something about it.  

Be the Change: Global Warming
By Kiley Vande Geest

Imagine waking up one day without your home. Imagine being stranded in the Arctic Ocean. Imagine being miles away from your family with no food anywhere. This is how polar bears and other species have to live as a result of global warming. However, they’re not the only ones being affected. Global warming, or climate change, is impacting our lives, and it needs to be stopped.

Global warming affects most living things in our world: animals, plants, and most importantly, us. Animals like the Pacific Green Sea Turtle are being disturbed by climate change. The female turtles’ nesting sites are being harmed due to sea levels rising and other factors. Additionally, warmer climates cause pests like weeds and fungi to grow. It is estimated that 100 million people will die from climate change related causes by 2030. Yes, it influences polar bears, but it does so much more than we realize.

Imagine waking up with no clean water to drink. Global warming is killing people every day from lack of a common necessity, water. Bilku, a woman from Ethiopia, has a child which she cannot care for. This is because of a drought that caused all of her crops to die, cutting out her family’s food source. However, Bilku is not the only one. Many people are struggling to care for their families due to climate change related causes. Almost 60 million children live in areas like these where water isn’t just a drink, it’s their key to survival.

Global warming may seem like too big of a problem, but there are many things you can do to help. Promoting awareness is important because no action will ever occur unless people are educated about the problem. Additionally, organizations like the World Wildlife Fund are helping the animals affected by global warming. They collect donations that are used to protect the habitats of animals from elephants to polar bears. You can donate by going to their website. A simple donation helps animals in need find a safe place to live.

A major problem that needs to be solved is global warming, or climate change. It affects animals, plants, and us in ways we don’t realize. Global warming is the cause of droughts in third world countries, and that is why some people cannot find water to drink. It is big, but it can be fixed! We have a lot more than some other countries do, which is why we are the only ones who can stop global warming for good.

The Biggest Global Problem
By Josh Worobij

Almost one thousand children under five years old die each day due to dirty water. This issue is called the water crisis. The water crisis is a very important issue that can be solved if we all work together on this issue.

The water crisis is an enormous issue that needs to be stopped. Unfortunately, families depend on the children in the family to collect water. It can take them 40 million hours every year to collect filthy water. The children get affected because they cannot get any time to get an education. Also, by the year 2025, calculations say that 1.8 billion people will live within the water crisis area. These facts prove that the water crisis is a terrible global issue.

The water crisis is hurting and killing people all over the globe. About one out of eight people do not have clean water to drink. This includes children who need water to grow and be healthy. Also, diarrhea sadly can also cause children to lose nutrients which can cause sicknesses that can cause pain and eventually death.

The water crisis is a deadly issue that can be stopped. Everyone on the globe should give money and donate to websites and fundraisers that can help this issue to stop killing people. When people donate money, then workers can build wells with clean water into the areas with low amounts of water.

This very important issue can be solved only with help from others. We can help to get water systems in all of the areas going through drought or having low amounts of water that is filthy. If you were suffering through the water crisis, then you would want to have clean and sanitary water.

Millions Displaced
By McKenna Andrews

Every twenty four hours, 42,500 people are forced to leave their homes. We need to stop this from happening. You wouldn’t want this to happen to you. Refugees face huge problems in our world, but donating can help them out.

 Refugees are a major issue in our world. Every day, 42,500 refugees are forced out of their homes. This number is very large, and we need to reduce it. At the end of 2017, there were 6.3 million Syrian refugees worldwide. Most of them are Syrian. If we help them first, then we can then help out the other refugees.

Refugees are also a very upsetting topic. More than half of refugees are children under eighteen. Imagine if you were forced to leave your home. It would be a tragedy for you to have to say goodbye to the place you grew up or where you raised your children. I’m thirteen and children younger than me are getting forced out of their homes and a lot are getting separated from their families. Every two seconds, someone is forced to leave their home. Since you started reading this, about thirty refugees have been forced to leave their homes. We need to help out these innocent people.

Even though refugees are an upsetting topic, you can still help. You can help out by donating to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR. I would help them because they help refugees a ton. Some of the things they do are donate things to them, protect them, and they also assist them. To add on, you could also donate food, water, or clothes to a refugee shelter because all the things you donate will go to some refugee and really help them out. Finally you could welcome them. Believe it or not, a lot of the times refugees come to the U.S and a lot of us don’t welcome them. They came all this way and they get treated very poorly. If you welcome them and also tell other people to do so, then one day our whole world can welcome them and this problem will go away.

By donating to refugees you can help them out and make this a problem as though it never happened. So, what do you say, will you “Be the change” and save peoples lives.

A Mass Murderer
By Katie Kubay

About 7.6 million children die each year due to a very serious problem. This horrible thing is world hunger. World hunger is a gargantuan problem, and we must do something about it.

This issue is immense. According to a recent article, 1 in 6 people on this planet face world hunger. As stated earlier, 7.6 million children die each year. About 821 million people are undernourished, while a total of 9.1 million end up dying every year. That’s almost 25,500 lives lost every single day! If you do survive, you definitely struggle. Some people go days without food. This dreadfulness has to be stopped.

Not only is hunger an enormous issue, but it is also a very depressing problem. A nine-month-old baby named Asuki is suffering every day, while her single mother has to sit there and watch her beloved child fail to get better. Before traveling to a medical clinic, she was very close to death. No one wants the thing they love most ripped away from them, but that is almost how Asuki’s mom has felt. Asuki’s family is among tons of others who have to watch their children hurt.

However, we can end this menacing crisis. All you have to do is make a donation to The Hunger Project. This is an organization that strives to end this famine while still focusing on human dignity, gender equality, and empowerment. One instance where this phenomenal organization has helped someone in great need was when they assisted Julian. Julian is a father who was struggling to provide food for his family. The Hunger Project surely lent Julian a hand. Now he has better food security and does not have to worry as much about having food on the table. If you want to aid someone in need, make a donation of any size to this astounding group.

We can take action to solve this colossal issue. We must do something so fewer people die, or so a smaller number of parents have to watch their adolescents suffer. We need to make more happy stories like Julian’s. Next time you sit down to enjoy a meal, think about other men, women, and children who are famished.

A Broken Life
By Darren Wang


Nine year old Adisa strikes the ground with his shovel into his tenth hour of work. He lives in sub-Saharan Africa and has been working since he was only four years old. Adisa is forced to endure work that is fit for a man, with an empty and grumbling stomach, having no home but the ground. Poverty affects millions of people like this boy, and woefully it causes the deaths of nearly 22,000 children a day.

        Most of us have everything: clean and fresh water, a good paying job, and an excess of food. Others that are affected by poverty have nothing. Poverty is when people lack simple goods or services. This affects people worldwide; however, it is most prominent in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty is caused by climate change, inequality, conflict, lack of a job, and no food or water. This leads to poor health, little to no food, and a higher children’s mortality rate. Countless people are trapped in poverty and are forced to live in harsh conditions. The next time you get a withdrawal from your bank account, be grateful for the money that you have.

         Approximately 10% of the world are victims of the sinister force that is poverty, many of which are children. They must suffer through dreadful conditions, leading to an innocent child dying every four seconds. Many of these children are set up for a bright future, but they simply have not had guidance. Poverty is extremely severe;  however; only a meager one percent of the U.S. budget is used to fight it. It also causes numerous diseases, along with an insufficient education. This is a dire matter, as it causes much loss and pain around the world.

         Despite how monstrous this issue is, you can help eradicate poverty. You can give a simple donation of a few dollars to charities such as the Red Cross and the World Bank group. These associations give crisis aid and fund projects that are focused on putting an end to poverty. Another marvelous organization is the Borgen Project, which educates others about poverty. Other ways to help include joining local organizations, donating school supplies and books, or just merely spreading the word to others. By giving just a little, you can help save millions of people.

Adisa is a mere child who has already witnessed countless friends and family dying from poverty. However, you could give him a hope and a future and bring a light into his dark world. You can make his life better with a simple donation. You can save him.




Refugees: People with a Purpose
By Justine Sullivan


Imagine running, urging your legs to go on, so much that your whole body is about to collapse, while being away from your home, family, friends, and all of your possessions. Whether you are fleeing from war, persecution, natural disaster, or some other cause, the suffering is all the same. There are millions of people from all over the world going through this scenario, and they are called refugees.

Billions of people have experienced moving before, but barely any have been driven away from their homes, forced to walk miles and miles to get to safety, with countless dying along the way. Refugees live lives that may seem unrealistic to many. They have to travel for weeks, months, and sometimes even years to escape the horrible situations that are going on where they live. From war to climate change, there is a never ending number of causes for people to become refugees. This results in a constantly increasing number of people in need of humanitarian aid.

Refugees go through so much on a daily basis - struggles the average American can’t even picture. Approximately 25.4 million people are classified as refugees. That is the population of North Korea!  Nearly 50% of all refugees are children of all ages, some being extremely young. Youths are often separated from their families. What if it was your child taken away, pulled off the streets and used to work to become a soldier or even worse? Refugees are often mistaken for immigrants, so an astonishing number of people are harsh and reluctant towards accepting them. However, you can be part of the 51% of Americans who will accept refugees; don’t be hesitant to show support and compassion.  

Refugees need our help.  It may seem impossible, but small acts of kindness can make tremendous differences. Even donating a toy for a small child who is in a refugee shelter can make his day and let him know someone cares. If you want to make an even more massive impact, donate to Refuge Point. They support “forgotten” refugees and provide them with the love and care they deserve. Just $40 can ensure shelter for a whole household of refugees. If everyone shows a little humanity, eventually the refugee crisis will be able to come to an end.

Now that you have learned all the obstacles refugees have to overcome,  make an impact on someone’s life! Your consideration can help someone to stop running from danger and instead run towards a future. This is a major issue going on in our world, but together, we truly can make a difference.



Necessary Poison
By Kate Baker


Imagine waking up each day knowing that the first job you are forced to do is to walk six miles for water. Now imagine a child, usually a girl, doing this several times every day, trudging through the blistering heat. No child should suffer this fate. In Africa, this is the harsh reality a multitude of youths face. The walk for water is a daily necessity that will likely kill them in the long run.

The water crisis a serious issue in numerous under-developed countries; lack of access to clean water causes millions of citizens to stumble along for hours to get water. The water they bring back is often infected with fatal diseases such as cholera. These innocent child victims are also in danger of other threats when walking. No person, especially youth, should suffer such a terrible daily routine.

We probably don't realize how widespread the water crisis is because it doesn't affect us; nevertheless, it is much more severe than commonly perceived. It takes about five seconds to fill an eight ounce glass with water. In many developing countries, it takes all day to get this amount of water.  In the time it takes to fill two glasses from a tap, a person somewhere in the world dies from dehydration or waterborne illness. On average, everyone who walks to water takes 4 ½ hours of their days that could be spent on work or school.  

Luckily, this is a solvable issue. The most effective way to help is donating money to organizations fighting the water crisis. Charity: Water, is an organization that brings life saving resources, such as wells, to developing countries.  The wells provide disease-free water and allow women and girls to use their days to improve their lives.  Donate to a water crisis charity this season to make an impact on a family that is thirsty for both water and help.

Imagine waking up in the morning, and the first thing you do is walk to get water. You walk miles down the rocky slope in hot weather, and back up in the blistering sun. But today was not so bad. All you can think of is that today is the last day you have to make this terrible trek.  Tomorrow the well will be drilled. Be the person who brings those innocent children what they really need: clean water.



 The American Hunger Games
y Sienna Rex


    Imagine that it is Thanksgiving dinner and your plate is completely empty. You do not have one piece of turkey or a husk of corn to consume. That sounds horrible, right? Although you may be imagining this, for forty million American citizens, this is reality. Hunger in America is a very severe problem that affects individuals nationwide.

           Taking a bite of a sandwich seems so easy. However, some people are not even privileged enough to have the resources to buy a small loaf of bread. Hunger is a continuous controversy in our country that is mainly caused by poverty, poor infrastructure, and discrimination. It can be found more commonly in suburban states such as New Mexico, New Orleans, and Mississippi. However, every state has someone who is struggling gravely with hunger. As horrific as this dilemma may be for adults, children involved in hunger can have an even worse fate. These children are more prone to stunted growth, infections, and diseases. Unfortunately, these health issues can even lead to death. Eating a decent, healthy dinner should not be taken for granted.

            Numerous upper-class families have plentiful meals and throw more than half of them away. Believe it or not, approximately 40% of food in the United States is thrown away per year. This could feed 25 million Americans! That is twice the population of Southern Sudan! Hypothetically speaking, inhabitants of America are battling in a realistic version of the Hunger Games. We waste food that goes directly to landfills. However, other citizens are struggling to acquire any food. One in six Americans are struggling with hunger. Imagine that one individual as someone who means the world to you. Would you choose to help them rehabilitate from their situation, or would you be a bystander?

        Although hunger seems nearly impossible to solve, it most certainly is not. Citizens of every age can help to solve hunger. As a tween or teenager, you can use your allowance to buy canned goods for your local food bank, instead of buying the new trendy shoes “everyone” has. Donating money as little as fifteen dollars to “Feeding America” can provide 150 meals to someone facing hunger.

          Hunger costs Americans an abundance of innocent lives nationwide; others are put through unthinkable experiences. However, you can change this. Now is your time to give these victims hope and stand up to hunger!



Malaria: A Merciless Killer
By Zachary Sutterlin


In the amount of time it will take you to read this article, a child will die from a devastating disease called malaria. Sadly, there are thousands of additional deaths. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people perish from malaria; however, these deaths are preventable with your help.

People all around the world in developing countries have to worry about deadly diseases and other dangers, and one of the largest of these dangers is malaria. Malaria is a very severe and potentially lethal disease. Malaria affects millions of people, mostly in developing countries, but especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. This disease is caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria leaves people unable to function because of the serious symptoms that you get with the disease. So next time you get a simple illness like a cold, think about the other people in the world with malaria.

Malaria is one of the leading killers around the world. Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of this terrible disease; furthermore, over 200 million people suffer from it every year. Malaria creates large expenses for families and communities; these expenses can cause extreme poverty. Sadly, children under the age of five and pregnant women are at the highest risk of dying from this disease. This is absolutely appalling and it needs to change.  The world is doing everything it can, but it needs your help.

There are numerous ways that you can assist malaria victim right from your home. One way you can help is by donating to organizations that are helping to eradicate malaria. A great charity is the Against Malaria Foundation. This charity uses donations to transport insecticide- treated nets to Sub- Saharan Africa to protect people. These nets only cost $2 to produce, so any donation helps. Another charity is Malaria Consortium, they specialize in aiding children under the age of five with malaria. Malaria No More is another organization that shares the common goal of stopping malaria. Any donation helps, no matter how small, so don’t hesitate to contribute.

With your help, malaria can be eradicated. At this moment in Sub-Saharan Africa, a young child just died from malaria. You can help end this terrible cycle.


Posted by berg in Middle School, Be the Change Day on Thursday December, 20, 2018

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